When it comes to walking our dogs, we want to make sure we have the proper gear for our little ones. Collars have been a classic staple in the dog world since all of time, but since the invention of the dog harness more and more dog owners are opting to use that instead of a collar. So which is better to use for your dog, a harness or collar? The short answer, it depends on your dog. There are pros and cons to both options, and times when one is more appropriate than the other. Keep reading to learn which is better for your dog.

Dog Collars

Types of Collars

Flat Collar – The most commonly used collar, mainly used for identification.

Martingale Collar – Used for training your dog out of pulling on leash. Martingales help protect against throat damage as there is less tension on the neck.

Rolled Collar – Good for dogs with sensitive skin, wrinkles or rolls. Bad for dogs who pull a lot.

Pros Of Using A Dog Collar

  • Can be used for identification
  • Can be used for training
  • Most widely available

Cons Of Using A Dog Collar

  • Can cause damage to your dog’s throat, especially if they pull a lot
  • Can be painful if too tight
  • Can slip off of your dog’s neck if too loose (Martingale collar helps)
  • Dog gets tangled in leash more often

Dog Harnesses

Types Of Harnesses

Back-Clip Harness – Clips to the back of the harness and prevents throat damage by pulling your dog from their chest rather than their neck. Especially good for small breeds.

Front-Clip Harness – Clips to the front of the harness, on the chest. Gives you more leverage for when your dog pulls during walks.

Head Halter/ Gentle Leader – This tool controls your dog’s head while walking and can be used in conjunction with a front-clip harness. This tool is especially useful for large dog breeds to train them out of pulling on leash.

Pros Of Using A Dog Harness

  • More comfortable for your dog
  • Allows you better control of your dog
  • Safer for their trachea
  • Prevents your dog from slipping away
  • Can help discourage pulling (front-clip)
  • Safer pressure distribution

Cons Of Using A Dog Harness

  • Requires more strength when walking your dog than with traditional collars.
  • Harder to find the right fit for your dog.
  • Can be uncomfortable to wear in warm weather.
  • Can encourage pulling (back-clip)


In conclusion, while there are pros and cons for both dog collars and harnesses, harnesses are the safest option for your dog. A collar can be used for identification, but using a dog harness is a lot gentler on your dog’s body. No matter what you choose to use for your dog, make sure they are comfortable.

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